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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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are higher among the childless, be they men or women, and ... in general the greater the number of children the lower the pressure. Furthermore, in a four year interval . . . men and women who added to their families had on the average smaller rises in pressure than those who did not."
Hare and Shaw (48) studied fifty-five British families divided according to the number of children under 16 years of age. They found that both physical and mental ill health in parents increased with family size, and more markedly so in mothers than in fathers. Interestingly, they reported that overall incidence of illness in the children did not increase with family size, but they attributed this to the fact that the mothers of larger families were too busy to take their mildly ill children to their physicians or seek other attention; hence, recorded illnesses in these children were low.
Family Size and Maternal Health. A study of sociocultural factors in the epidemiology of hypertension among the Zulu of South Africa has been reported by Scotch (49). His study, carried out in 1959, included Zulu men and women in two communities, one a rural native reserve and the other an urban "location" near Durban. He found that hypertension was more common in the "location," that women were more affected than men, and that the prevalence increased with age. Among the variables examined was the number of children. In the Zulu women from the "location," the incidence of hypertension increased with the number of children. The difference found in women with five or more children compared with those with four or less was statistically significant.* He did not find this difference among women living in the rural area, and he commented as follows:
... In the city, women with many children had a higher prevalence of hypertension than those with few children, whereas in the rural area there was no relationship between number of children and hypertension. ... In traditional Zulu society a woman's status is clearly related to her ability to bear children ... a greater number of children would in no way be stressful. . . . The opposite holds true in the city, where a large number of children must be seen as stressful. ... As long as a woman has a minimum number her status as a wife is secure. But should she have too many children, life becomes difficult in many ways. . . . (49, p. 1210)
Comparable findings have been reported by Murphy (50), who studied the effects of cultural change on the mental health of Yoruba women in Nigeria. She expected to find evidence of "acculturative stress" among Yoruba women who had been "western educated" in comparison with those who were "unacculturated." Measurement of mental health was "based on systematic questions asked of the women based on psychophysiological sensa-
*At the 0.05 level.